Gatlin inflicts rare defeat on Bolt

Gatlin inflicts rare defeat on Bolt

American continues his bright run; Ivorian Ahoure upsets Felix

Usain Bolt's defeat by Justin Gatlin in the 100 metres at the Rome Diamond League meeting on Thursday is unlikely to cause the Olympic champion too much concern ahead of August's World Championships.

American Gatlin, bronze medallist at the London Games after a four-year doping ban, ran 9.94 seconds to edge Bolt by 0.01 in a race that showed the Jamaican has yet to fully recover from the hamstring injury that dogged him earlier in the season.

Bolt's previous defeat over the distance was at last year's Jamaican championships when fans and media were stunned as he was beaten by Yohan Blake only for the world record holder to scorch to the second-fastest time on record of 9.63 in the Olympic final a few weeks later.

The 26-year-old Bolt got a good start in Rome but Gatlin, who also won in Doha and Eugene this season, had moved ahead by halfway and his rival never looked like making up the ground. "That was ridiculous - a perfect start and then I just cropped off. I think it was the perfect start that threw my game off," six-times Olympic gold medallist Bolt said.
"At the end it just wasn't me - at least I got under 10 seconds," he added, referring to his only other race over 100 metres this season when he ran 10.09 in the Cayman islands last month. "For me it is just going through the season, putting things together for the world championships. The season is still very early."

Women's Olympic 200 metres champion Allyson Felix also suffered a surprise defeat when she was left trailing down the home straight by Ivory Coast's Murielle Ahoure who won in a national record of 22.36.

A number of world leading times for the year were recorded on the track, including Amantle Montsho who beat her own 400 metres best for 2013 by running 49.87. "I am very happy with my time today. I wasn't thinking of the world championships when I ran," Montsho said.

Results: Men: 100M: Justin Gatlin (US) 9.94, 1; Usain Bolt (Jam) 9.95, 2; Jimmy Vicaut (Fra) 10.02, 3. 400M: LaShawn Merritt (US) 44.96, 1; Yousef Ahmed Masrahi (Saudi) 45.24, 2; Joshua Mance (US) 45.26, 3.  800M: Mohammed Aman (Eth) 1:43.61, 1; Pierre-Ambroise Bosse (Fra) 1:43.91, 2; Andre Olivier (SA) 1:44.37, 3.  5000M: Yenew Alamirew (Eth) 12:54.95, 1; Hagos Gebrhiwet (Eth) 12:55.73, 2;  Isiah Kiplangat Koech (Ken) 12:58.85, 3.  110M hurdles: Sergey Shubenkov (Rus) 13.20, 1; Pascal Martinot-Lagarde (Fra) 13.31, 2; Balazs Baji (Hun) 13.44, 3.  400M hurdles: Johnny Dutch (US) 48.31, 1; Javier Culson (Pue) 48.36, 2; Mamadou Kasse Hanne (Fra) 48.56, 3.  Pole vault: Raphael Holzdeppe (Ger) 5.91, 1; Renaud Lavillenie (Fra) 5.86, 2; Malte Mohr (Ger) 5.86, 3.  Triple jump: Christian Taylor (US) 17.08, 1; Daniele Greco (Ita) 17.04, 2; Teddy Tamgho (Fra) 17.01, 3.  Shot put: David Storl (Ger) 20.70, 1; Cory Martin (US) 20.54, 2; Dylan Armstrong (Can) 20.29, 3.  Women: 200M: Murielle Aho­ure (Ivory Coast) 22.36, 1; Allyson Felix (US) 22.64, 2, Ivet Lalova (Bul) 22.78, 3.  400M: Amantle Montsho (Bot) 49.87, 1; Francena McCorory (US) 50.05, 2; Natasha Hastings (US) 50.53, 3. 1500M: Abeba Aregawi (Swe) 4:00.23, 1; Genzebe Dibaba (Eth) 4:01.62, 2; Jennifer Simpson (US) 4:02.30, 3.  100M hurdles: Dawn Harper-Nelson (US) 12.65, 1; Lolo Jones (US) 12.70, 2; Ginnie Crawford (US) 12.90, 3. 3000M steeplechase: Milcah Chemos Cheywa (Ken) 9:16.14, 1; Lydiah Chepkurui (Ken) 9:18.10, 2; Sofia Assefa (Eth) 9:21.24, 3. High jump: Anna Chicherova (Rus) 1.98, 1; Svetlana Shkolina (Rus) 1.98, 2; Blanka Vlasic (Cro) 1.95, 3. Long jump: Brittney Reese (US) 6.99, 1; Janay DeLoach (US) 6.97, 2; Shara Proctor (Bri) 6.91, 3. Discus throw: Sandra Perkovic (Cro) 68.25, 1; Yarelys Barrios (Cub) 64.41, 2; Zinaida Sendriute (Lit) 62.85, 3. Javelin throw: Christina Obergfoell (Ger) 66.45, 1; Maria Abakumova (Rus) 64.03, 2; Sunette Viljoen (SA) 63.49, 3.